To back up … or not to back up?

contactbackup

Well, that should not even be a question — the answer is obvious and always yes!

Admittedly, I might be a tad more than anal-retentive, especially when it comes to my mobile devices and specifically my contacts.

I still remember the day my Palm device was lost and I didn’t have a current backup. I later remember, far more painfully, how excited I was about the sled modem for my Palm Vx — the OmniSky modem — and having mobile Internet access. What I didn’t count on was how unstable it made my device, prone to crashing and data loss.

The first time this happened I was traveling and was left to rely on my paper agenda — not having a way to quickly and efficiently restore. Just thinking about this makes me skittish.

By the time I was using my last Treo 650 (which I’m pretty sure is still in my house somewhere), I could back up to a card, which was pretty handy when you consider I had not one but four of these devices over a period of time. I could not imagine not having a current backup, in case of emergency. With my iDevices, Blackberry and other assorted devices, I worry. Sure, there’s iCloud and Google but, did you know there’s an app for that?

Enter IS Contacts Kit.

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IS contacts screenshots

In a nutshell, this app backs up your contacts that you can export to various formats (Excel, CSV for GMail or Outlook XLS). You can also back up to Dropbox or via iTunes or Wi-Fi Share that you can save to your computer. There’s a free version and a full version, but, in my opinion, the free version is sufficient.

Before any major travel I back up my devices to computers, external hard drives and the cloud. I back up my contacts at least once a month; the file goes to my Dropbox; and I also email myself a copy.

This summer was somewhat travel-intensive. Before and after each trip, in addition to my system backups, I specifically created a backup of my contacts. Who goes on a business trip or to a conference and doesn’t add awesome new people to their contacts database? Note, I didn’t say mailing list, but I digress. Every so often, once a quarter or semiannually, I may even consider a hard copy of my contacts.

While digital is great, things can and do fail. I wouldn’t want to lose my entire address book — the core of professional and personal life — by failing to back up.

Ever so timely this week, with both iOS 7 and new iPhones being released. Be sure you have current backups on and off the cloud!

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